National Partners

Stories from our program partners, including NPR, APM, and PRI.

Have you ever watched the crime show "CSI"? The forensic scientist, flashlight in hand, combs every inch of the murder scene for clues.

Forensic accountants do the same kind of work — but in the financial world. They investigate crimes like money laundering, fraud and tax evasion.  

“We’re like the accounting pathologists,” said Dawn Brolin, CEO of Powerful Accounting. “We come in and we will tell the story of how the crime happened.” The incriminating evidence comes from bank statements and ledgers. “Because numbers tell a story,” Brolin said. “Transactions tell a story.”

Holiday jobs outlook full of good cheer

Sep 14, 2018

We're now exactly 10 weeks from Black Friday, and while many American consumers are probably only just starting to think about their holiday shopping, the companies that sell us our holiday presents have been thinking about it for a while. And what they're thinking is that it’s going to be a strong retail season, and that they’re getting ready to hire a lot of workers.

The day the bank fell

Sep 14, 2018

When Lynn Gray went home on Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, she was expecting that her employer, Lehman Brothers, would be purchased over the weekend. Barclay’s and Bank of America were both considering saving it from bankruptcy. Things changed quickly. Gray's on the show today to tell us what it was like being in the building when Lehman fell and helped set off a worldwide crisis. Plus, a forensic accountant was a key witness in the trial of Paul Manafort. But what, exactly, is forensic accounting? We'll explain.

When it comes to managing debt, it seems the last financial crisis wasn’t enough of a lesson.

Global debt is on track to hit new highs this year, according to Vitor Gasper, director of fiscal affairs at the International Monetary Fund.

In 2016, global debt hit a record 225 percent of world wealth, according to the IMF’s Global Debt Database, which tracks 190 countries from 1950 to the present day. That figure measures debt taken on by companies, governments, you and me.

It takes a lot of courage to speak up in support of women and women’s rights in a male-dominated country like Afghanistan.

But that’s exactly what Sahar Fetrat did.

At an opening for a new bookstore in Kabul, the 22-year-old documentary filmmaker and women’s rights activist describes how she first got into filmmaking.

Dear diary: The fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008

Sep 14, 2018

(Markets Edition) Hurricane Florence has arrived at the coast of North Carolina, brining with it 90-mile-per-hour winds and the potential to unload 20 to 40 inches of rain in some parts. We talks to a coastal economics specialist for more. Also, we talk to economist Diane Swonk, who shares some diary memories from the weekend Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, igniting the financial crisis.

Lessons learned from an economist's diary during the Lehman collapse

Sep 14, 2018

It's been 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a financial crisis that rolled over the country. Many people dealt with it in different ways. Diane Swonk, an economist with Grant Thornton, kept a running diary. It's not just a diary of all the things she wrote during that period, she said, but she also "went back and filled in the blanks on it, because it was just such an extraordinary period in time." She spoke with Sabri Ben-Achour for Marketplace Morning Report.

Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

(U.S. Edition) There are only 14 weeks to go until Christmas. Perhaps it's a little too early to think about holiday shopping, unless you're a retailer. With a mere few months to go before holiday shopping season, companies are gearing up to hire a lot of workers. Also, 10 years ago, Lehman Brothers was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. It eventually became the largest bankruptcy in history.

A view from the center of the Lehman Brothers collapse

Sep 14, 2018

Lehman Brothers was around for over 150 years before it filed for bankruptcy in 2008, marking the beginning of the global financial crisis. Unlike firms like AIG who had federal bailouts to back them up, Lehman was on its own. Tom Russo, former general counsel of Lehman Brothers and later, AIG, talked to host Sabri Ben-Achour about what would have hypothetically happened if Lehman Brothers had received relief from the Fed and why under certain circumstances "bailout" doesn't need to be a bad word.

Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has reportedly warned about a chaotic economic scenario under a no-deal Brexit scenario. We break down what the bank is forecasting and what impact it could have on households. Then, before Apple and its iPhone dethroned it, Blackberry was once a king in the smartphone space. Now, it focuses on cybersecurity. We’ll hear from CEO John Chen about what he thinks of the security of self-driving cars and company systems.

New digital copyright laws pushed forward by the European Parliament this week would make platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube share more of their profits with creators, news organizations, musicians and artists. The laws would make them be more aggressive about filtering copyrighted material. But critics, including YouTubers, say the law is so broad that it could lead to widespread censorship and even kill off internet memes. Host Molly Wood talks through the issues with Joanna Plucinska, a tech reporter for Politico Europe. (09/14/18)

New digital copyright laws pushed forward by the European Parliament this week would make platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube share more of their profits with creators, news organizations, musicians and artists. The laws would make them take more aggressive steps to filter copyrighted material. But critics, including YouTubers, say the law is so broad that it could lead to widespread censorship and even kill off internet memes.

After Janus, a battle for union members' wallets

Sep 13, 2018

It’s been more than two months since the Supreme Court ruled against public-sector unions in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The decision barred those unions nationwide from collecting mandatory agency fees from nonunion members to pay for union services like collective bargaining and grievance representation that are provided to all employees. The 5-4 ruling — on First Amendment grounds — immediately cut off a significant source of cash for union coffers.

Hurricane Florence, currently tearing along the Southeast coast of the U.S. could bring wind gusts of 80 mph. The governor of North Carolina said that "tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded." The post-storm costs could be high as communities buy up the drywall, lumber, and steel to rebuild. The price of some of those imported materials is being driven up by tariffs.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Help! I’ve fallen and I need a smart watch!

Sep 13, 2018

Among the updates during Wednesday’s Apple keynote were some changes to the Apple Watch. Series 4 of the smartwatch will come with price tag starting at $399, and will include a bigger screen, thinner body, and new health tracking capabilities including a better heart rate monitor. But one feature that hasn’t received as much attention is the watch’s new “fall detection capabilities.”

There's been a lot of criticism on social media about money being diverted a few weeks ago from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The amount? About $10 million.

The World fact-checked this and located the congressional document to prove it.

On a muggy August morning, Angel Luis Bonilla and some friends were kibbitzing in a waiting room at 201 Varick Street in downtown Manhattan. The federal office building is where immigrants in detention in or around New York are normally taken for court hearings.

Bonilla and his buddies had come to support their friend Enrique, a 35-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was arrested in June.

"I’ve known him about five to six years. He's a hard-working man," said Bonilla, a retired worker for the city’s transit system.

Here's the problem with low, low unemployment

Sep 13, 2018

Unemployment in the United States currently stands at the low, low 3.9 percent. What's not to like? A new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston argues that, historically, a low unemployment rate can signal trouble for the economy. It seems there is some danger in too much employment.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

How a chef helped serve 3.6 million meals in Puerto Rico

Sep 13, 2018

Thursday morning, President Donald Trump rejected the government’s assessment of the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year. He tweeted: “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico” and accused Democrats of inflating the number. Those statements are not grounded in fact. What is fact is that Puerto Rico was devastated, and thousands did die because of a lack of electricity, shelter, food and water.

"We function very well in chaos"

Sep 13, 2018

President Donald Trump rejected the government’s assessment of the death toll from Hurricane Maria this morning. "3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” he tweeted, accusing Democrats of inflating the number. Those statements are not grounded in fact. What is a fact is that the island was devastated, and thousands did die because of a lack of electricity, shelter, food and water. With that in mind, we talked with chef José Andrés today about his experience feeding thousands of Puerto Ricans in the storm's wake.

Scientists say 25 years left to fight climate change

Sep 13, 2018

You can think of global warming kind of like popping a bag of popcorn in the microwave.

Anthropogenic, or human-caused, warming has been stoked by increasing amounts of heat-trapping pollution since the start of the industrial age more than 200 years ago. But that first hundred years or so was kind of like the first minute for that popcorn — no real sign of much happening.

FOMO in China is a $7 billion industry

Sep 13, 2018

Chen Jun, 34, rents a small apartment in Shanghai. He, his wife and his kid share one bedroom, his brother’s family shares another and his parents sleep on a bed in the corner of the living room next to the entrance.

The living arrangement is a bit of a squeeze, but according to official statistics, Chen’s living situation is common for migrant workers, like his family, who come from the countryside.

Shanghai is much more expensive than his native Hubei Province in central China.

Stephane Wrembel on Django Reinhardt

Sep 13, 2018

Stephane Wrembel is a French born jazz guitarist, perhaps best known for writing the theme song to the Woody Allen film “Midnight In Paris.” When he was a kid growing up outside of Paris, he found himself in desperate need of some inspiration.

Then his guitar teacher gave him a CD by a French-Romani jazz player from the 1930s, named Django Reinhardt. Stephane tells us how Reinhardt's music changed the course of his life.

“I really wanted to unlock the mysteries of Django’s music,” says Wrembel. “I was on a mission. And I became very obsessed.”


The counterculture’s countdown to Armageddon

Sep 13, 2018

In the late ‘60s and early ’70s, a new form of evangelical Christianity spread to a surprising audience: the long-haired hippies of the counterculture — and it become popularly known as the Jesus Movement. Central to its theology was the belief that the end of the world was coming any minute.

Why Ann Dowd understands Aunt Lydia

Sep 13, 2018

In 2017, Ann Dowd won an Emmy for her terrifying performance in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

She was also nominated that same year for playing the cult leader Patti Levin on HBO's "The Leftovers." But before her recent success, she played dozens of scene-stealing supporting roles: from Busy Philipps’s mom in “Freaks and Geeks” to a real-life victim of a hoax in "Compliance" to Toni Collette’s eccentric friend in “Hereditary.”   

Resty was desperate. She had fled Uganda and was in Pittsburgh when her toddler, Maria, got sick. They didn’t have insurance, and Resty felt hopeless. Then, while watching the news, she realized there was another option.

“I was seeing it on the news and internet,” says Resty. “And then I was like, ‘If those people can make it to Canada, I can too.’”

PRI is withholding Resty’s last name so she can speak without fear of affecting her chances at asylum.

(Markets Edition) Household incomes grew last year for the third year in a row, according to data from the U.S. Census. But a closer look reveals that men are seeing a larger earnings boost while the numbers for women barely moved. Speaking of growth, Consumer Price Index numbers indicate that prices rose year over year just under 3 percent.

Twenty-five-year-old Zahra is convinced she is not pretty.

First, it’s her eyes.

“I want to get rid of this extra skin,” she says, pinching the skin above her eyes. “It pains me to even look at it,” she adds, pulling at it with her fingers.

Then, there’s that nose. That “small, flat, unattractive nose,” as Zahra describes it. She wants a bigger one.

(U.S. Edition) With Hurricane Florence at a Category 2 and still threatening, we look at what actually declaring a state of emergency entails when it comes to unlocking funds. Then, Apple's new iPhones come equipped with faster processors and superior water resistance. However, Apple appears to be overhauling more than the phones. Also, we head back to the tariff saga between the U.S. and China. Have the tariffs actually brought the Trump administration closer to its goals in that country?

How states unlock money to meet hurricane expenses

Sep 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, but it could still cause extreme flooding inland. Several states along the Eastern Seaboard and the District of Columbia have declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall later this week.

States need authorization before they can spend more money on an emergency than is officially budgeted.

"Government can only do the things that it's explicitly been given the legal ability to do," said Joseph Trainor, a director at the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. 

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